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State of the Union

News/Business. Candy Crowley. (2012) Latest on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. New.

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01:00:00

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America 18, Washington 9, Us 6, Duracell 4, Harry Reid 4, New York 3, Citi 3, Jessica Yellen 3, Nancy Pelosi 2, Matt Bai 2, Tom Vilsack 2, One Phillips ' Colon Health Probiotic 2, Obama 2, Gas 2, Hasbro 2, Phillips 2, Boehner 2, Alabama 2, Michigan 2, Duralock 2,
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  CNN    State of the Union    News/Business. Candy Crowley.  (2012) Latest on  
   the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. New.  

    December 30, 2012
    6:00 - 7:00am PST  

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and romney and the super-pacs and rnc and dnc. that's more than the annual gdp than 30 countries in the world we spent on the election. talk about wasting money. we can use this in the country for better things. i think it's shocking. >> i understand porn is part of something of the year as well that you want to talk about, porn? >> we learned something. women like to read porn. imt not sure about watching but read it thanks to 50 shades of gray. it sold off the book shelves and coined the term mommy porn as most women married with children read this with a little release to have fun. it will turn into a movie soon. men are more traditional and would rather see it than read about it. >> don't forget to check out his op-ed on cnn.com/opinion. thanks for watching today. "state of the union" with candy crowley starts now.
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few big things get done in washington without drama, and we're although the precipice of a very bing thing. today the cliff-hanger. >> we're now at the last minute. >> wlaefr we come up with is imperfect. >> we'll work hard to get there. >> getting a deal and getting it passed with democratic senator debbie stab gnaw and john ba wrasse a and darrell issa and donna edwards. then, the country goes into 2013 without a farm bill. think you don't care? >> the consumers when they go in the grocery store are going to be a bit shocked when ned of 3.60 for milk to $8 pour milk. 2016, yes 2016 with matt bai of the "new york times" magazine, the washgt post karen itemty and
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cnn's jessica yellen. i'm candy crowley. this is "state of the union." if sigh lentz is golden, perhaps something is up. we haven't heard much about whether a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff is in the works or out of the question. in what passes for a sign of hope, senate staff members spent saturday shuttling papers presumably containing proposals between harry reid and mitch mcconnell's offices. both the senate and house are meeting today. joins me touk at that about where things stand is darrell issa of california and done nan edwards and michigan senator debbie sab snow and jon ba wrasse o from wyoming. what's up? what is happening that you can tell us about? >> well, there's a lot of work going on right now on both sides of the aisle in the senate to come to an aagreement. to me there's take basic principle, and if everybody
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agrees we can go forward. that is, don't hold middle class families hostage to the debate about whether or not the wealthiest americans should get another tax cut. i would argue we can't afford it as a country, but the question is, are we going to allow middle class families to see their taxes go up while we have this debate? if we can agree we will continue tax cuts for the middle class, everything else begins to fall into place. >> wlho is working at this moment? are you involved in this? >> i've been in touch with those involved in this. there is no deal yet. i continue to hope for a bipartisan agreement today. what we see a monumental failure of presidential leadership. the president is the only person with a pen to sign this, and it's the president's responsibility to work on something that the house will pass, the senate will pass and he will sign. he is outsourcing this. he continues to campaign and lecture when he ought to focus on the number one problem that hurt z us as a country, which is
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our debt. >> it would be nice to place all the blame on the president, but that's not the reality. in the house our democratic caucus is meeting later on today. we've been united as democrats in wanting to protect middle class families from a tax cut going up. 98% of the american public, 100% of people who made under $250,000 will be protected under the president's proposal and under a bill waiting to protect middle class families. we could do that today. we could do it today or tomorrow. we could get it to the president's desk and deal with the most pressing issues that families face which is are my taxes going up on january 1st? >> it's minimalist at this point he. we started out with cutting the debt and now we're down to unemployment compensation and what's going to happen with these tax rates. >> i think that the important thing, though, candy, is what we do aagree on and don't agree on. the house passed months ago a
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bill that kept everyone's taxes low. now, that's dependent on how you scored 50 or $60 billion difference between the current president and democrats' position. >> that's with the $250,000 and under keeping their tax rate. everybody else gets a tax hike? >> i live in an alternate reality. the grew of age in politics in the clinton administration and watched pelosi and harry reid vote for tax increases under bill clinton that are the taxes we would go back to if we do nothing. at the same time, i watched nancy pelosi lead the charge against the bush tax cuts that ultimately now they want to keep 98% of. the truth is if we go over the cliff on a tax basis, we're only going back to the clinton era taxes. if we don't change spending, we're going to stay over the cliff. even if we go back to the clinton tax rates, the clinton tax rates, which is what the cliff is described as, you still
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have nearly half a trillion dollars a year, $5 trillion over ten years worth of deficit. that's because while we grew the -- under bush the taxes revenue went up 25%, and spending went up 100% in the last 12 years. if you put back the revenue from the higher taxes, you still have a deficit. that's what we're trying to change. >> we kind of are where we are, and no one is talking about spending cuts. they're talking about keeps taxes low, which everybody agrees. let me ask a specific question first to the democrats here. if they came out with with a deal that said, all right, we will keep tax rates for those making $400,000 or less, would you vote for na? >> candy, i'm willing to come to the middle. i think we've got to all be willing to come to the middle. >> that's a yes? >> i want to say something else very important, and that is for two years now we have only been focusing on spending cuts.
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in the last two years we've put in place $1.6 trillion in spending cuts. we have put in place spending reductions under medicare of over 700 billion by cutting overpayments to insurance companies and so on. the only thing, the only thing that we have not been able to get any agreement on is whether or not the wealthiest americans should be part of the solution. that's what this is about. >> i will give you -- let me give you a chance to talk about the spending cuts. >> we've already done tax cuts -- excuse me. we've done spending cuts. i'm willing to do more. i have $27 billion sitting on a farm bill in cuts we passed to the house. the house committee passed spending cuts and stop big subsidies to farmers that shouldn't be receiving them. the house won't take it up. i'm happy to do more reasonable spending cuts, but not if over and over the middle class gets hit. the middle class and seniors get hit over and over again.
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it's time for the wealthiest to be part of that. >> i want to give a chance to respond to this. if it were $400,000 or less, the tax rate stayed the same, it would be okay for you? >> if it includes something broader. 200 million lose unemployment benefits next week. >> including unemployment. >> it's a possibility. >> how about you? >> the president proposed $400,000 as a balanced approach to negotiate. the reality is the president ran on $250,000. come january 1st tax cuts for everyone will expire. we have a majority of support in the congress, republicans and democrats who actually support providing tax cuts for people who make under $250,000. >> to the point, would you vote for something if it came out to extend unemployment benefits and it's $400,000 or lower? would you support that? >> if 400,000 doll is part of a balanced package. if it's not -- >> if you get anything, right, it's an extension of
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unemployment benefits and somewhere along the line retaining tax rates for whatever one defines. >> republicans actually rejected the $400,000. >> we have an obsession level with increasing tax rates, and people across the board say this does nothing to deal with this spending problem we have in this country. nothing. he's fixated on what may help what funded the government for seven days a year. completely ignoring the other 358 days a year. you have to focus on really what's going to save this country, and we are not there. the president is doing nothing about the addiction that his administration has to spending. he's the spender in chief. >> i can't let the senator say what she said and not correct the record. those $700 billion, this wonderful savings went into obama care. the idea that you save money in medicare, it was saved as part of a big spending program. >> we cut overpayments to insurance companies. >> again, here in washington
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people say cut while things grow. >> slowing the growth? >> yes. it's sort of like satisfiesing you have a freeze, but it's water and when water freezes it expands. we've grown 100% in 12 years. the government. the government is sig bbigger, unless we do something it will get bigger and the deficit will get bigger even if we raise taxes on everybody. we still have a huge deficit. if we do not take on spending, then the cliff may not seem like a cliff but will be a downward slide to make us like greece. no lodnger a viable economic power. >> hang on. we'll continue this. we have to take a quick break. the fiscal cliff has the president sounding like new york yankees legend yoeg gi ber ra. >> this is deja shz vu all over again. americans want to know why you can't get stuff down in an organized timetable.
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>> so if we all saw it coming, why did congress wait so long to do something about it? why do toys for tots and hasbro trust duracell to power their donated toys? duralock power preserve. it locks in power for up to 10 years in storage. guaranteed. duracell with duralock. trusted everywhere. anyone have occasional constipation,
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we are back.
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let me just go back to one point, and that is there are people sitting around wondering whether their taxes will go up. i want to ask you again about the chances of you think of something passing. senator lindsey graham thinks the chances are exceedingly good and, quote, the president won. what does that mean to you? will we get something more in line with what the president want up science. >> i hope for a by partisan solution to pass. >> beyond the hope, do you think the chances are good? >> we're not there yet. we're trying to line up rubik's cube right now. this will continue until tomorrow. my goal is to help keep tax rates down for all americans. i think it hurts our economy if tax rates go up. that's why i'm concerned for the future and the growth of our economy and jobs. >> what is your all's sense of something that could pass what appears even from the first part
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of the conversation? the divides line is so bright. >> i'm optimistic, candy. i am he. i think the practical reality is come january 1 we begin to see the average middle class family having their taxes go up about $2200. one mom said to me in michigan, that's four months of groceries. that's commuting back and forth to work in gas for up to three years. i mean, that's a lot of money. i really do think even though there's great divides about the role of the wealthy in the country and whether she should be part of the solution, i do think that i'm optimistic we can come together to protect 98% of the public and 97% of small businesses. >> before 2013? >> yes. >> before 2013. >> i've actually always been hopeful despite the landscape. i mean, i do think, though, there's common ground around extending tax cuts for 98% of americans. that's common ground, extending
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unemployment is common ground. so i hope that we'll come to that point on january 1st and that this is what the president has laid out all along and what democrats have supported. it will take a lot of democratic votes in the house to get there. it's going to be bipartisan, but it will take an aawful lot of democrat to support this proposal. >> i'm not as optimistic. if we vilify a small group of people and raise the tax rates from 35% to 39%, that's the rate change for ordinary income, and at the same time not if i can the problem, it's 530 billion a year dp we're all in it together. that's half the deficit. if we raise it on the small group, i'm not saying no to the small group. what i'm saying is it doesn't fix anything. the senator said seven days, eight days. the fact is, it doesn't fix the problem. it's not even 10% of the deficit. so if we ignore spending, if we
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ignore spending at this juncture, think that we fix anything by vilifying the rich, we divided america without giving real solutions to americans. that i can't be -- >> you have a situation where you have republicans who don't want taxes raised on anyone voting against something that would at least keep them low for some people. do you know what i mean? >> if the president had offered up $100 billion worth of tax increases on the wealthy and $400 billion worth of cuts, he'd have had a deal in a new york minute. when you offer up $70 billion worth of tax increases on a small 1%, 2% of the population and no cuts and, in fact, ask for a stimulus that would consume all the money, we're going to vote on $60 billion for new york and area relief for hurricane sandy. that will consume a full year's worth of this tax increase
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that's proposed. >> let me just go back. it's so important, because we've had two years now of debates about all of this. each time we've only done spending cuts that hit middle class families and senior citizens the most. we are at a point where we're saying, no more. when congressman issa says everybody ought to be in and treated the same, that's fine. in the last decade we've seen wall street bailed out. we've seen more tax cuts for the wealthy while we have gone two wars and gone into debt. we have to right-size the ship. i support common sense spending cuts and voted for them. it's time for everybody to be all in. >> the debt is $16 trillion. >> there's no question about it. we've seen business people come together across the country saying they're willing to give a little more. the ceo of fedex said it's a washington myth that somehow ail loug the taxes to go back up to the clinton era time will impede growth.
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i mean, the reality is this is about everybody participating to solve the problem. >> let me try to just sort of wrap this up, because the alternative to not getting a deal between the two senate leaders and something that could pass the house is the president wants a straight up or down vote on something that contains the $250,000 tax rates and under staying the same, extension of unemployment, something with the alternative minimum tax keeping that in place so the middle class people aren't hit by that. if that comes to that, if it comes to that, just that, will republicans stand in the way of that in the u.s. senate? >> this morning cnn reported that's a political ploy by the president so he can blame republicans. the president has maxed out his credit card and wants to raise that debt ceiling again. we hit that level tomorrow night. that's not interested in any of this. we have to continue to focus on -- >> will you stop it? that's the question.
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i got to go. >> the president and american people deserve an up or down vote. >> process under nancy pelosi when she was speaker, we didn't get votes. harry reid has hunls of bills bottled up. the idea that one bill is entitled, well, in fact, both the senator and i would love to have some things unbottled for an up or down vote. it's not the process or fair to divide america. >> i've got to run. to be continued. i hope you'll come back. thank you so much. thank you all for being here. i appreciate it. up next, why neglecting rural america could be costly for everyone. later, the washington game that never gets old. >> kicking the can down the road. >> we're not going to address it by kicking the can down the road. >> kick the can down the road when it comes to solving the larger problem of our deficit. s,
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[ male announcer ] icy hot arthritis lotion. powerful encapsulated menthol gets icy to dull pain, hot to relax it away. power past pain. a group called the population reference bureau tracks people, where they live, and where they're going. it analyzes trends and their implications. it describes the current state of rural america as a place where workers won't go because there aren't any jobs and businesses won't locate because there are no workers. as a result the bureau says a broad area of the country is emptying out, rural areas are caught in a downward spiral.
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just 19% of americans live in rural america now, the lowest ever recorded by the census bure bureau. no one worries mother about that than the agriculture secretary who says as a by-product of the population decline rural america has lost political clout in washington. >> we're losing our young people because we're not doing a particularly good job of sending the right proactive message from an economic perspective, and that then translates into a lack of support for programs that are important to rural america. >> that would be programs like the ones in the trillion dollar farm bill languishing in congress for most of the year. a big chunk of the money is for food stamps, but the bill also includes crop insurance, land conservation and commodity programs. that is, programs that help to feed the poor and keep milk from costs $7 a gallon. vilsack thinks he'd have a bill by now if the rest of the country understood what 19% of the country is providing.
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>> the most important thing is that there is not the kind of understanding or appreciation of what takes place in rural america in other parts of the country that would provide is continued political relevance notwithstanding it's poorer or less diverse or have fewer people. >> defining the stakes and regaining influence with agriculture secretary tom vilsack next. why do toys for tots and hasbro trust duracell to power their donated toys? duralock power preserve. it locks in power for up to 10 years in storage. guaranteed.
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secretary of agriculture tom vilsack is causing a ruckus these day. he says despite providing fuel, food and outdoor recreational spots, rural america is becoming irrelevant to politics. when we sat down to talk about that, the secretary told me you don't have to go far for proof. >> it is unconsciousable that we don't have a farm bill. this is rift rick. you have every single major commodity group in the country united to get it worked on, and yet, congress doesn't get it done. you can't point to a time when congress has been this reluctant to pass farm legislation, and frankly i think it's a reflection of this changing dynamic, and i think we better be changing attention to it and do something about it. >> you think it's an easy one to ignore because there's not that pressure behind it of a political lobbying group as it were? >> exactly. when the speaker of the house basically says, look, we can't talk about the fiscal cliff and the farm bill at the same time
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because it's a 1,000-page bill, it's not 1,000 pages, first and foremost. it could be attached to a hurricane relief bill or a fiscal cliff resolution bill, easily attached to either one and it was a priority. when you consider what rural america does, it provides most of the food, a lot of water, almost all of the energy and fuel as well as many, many jobs connected to what happens in rural areas, there should be a greater appreciation for what takes place in rural america and a greater concern on the part of all of us to make sure rural america is healthy and prosperous. >> in the short term it seems the sales job has to be why does anybody care if there'sen a farm bill on january 1st? what would happen to me or my family sitting here in washington, d.c.? >> well, if you like anything made with milk, you're going to be impacted by the fact that there's no farm bill. if there is ant extension of the existing bill or a new bill basically on january 1st or shortly thereafter, permanent agriculture law giffords back
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into place, 1949 law, sch means that the federal government will go back ft business of strongly supporting the dairy industry by raising the price support if you will or support for dairy products to $38 a hundred weight. that's almost double what the price of milk is today. that's going to ultimately ramp up so the consumers when they gt in the grocery store are a bit shocked when instead of seeing 3.60 for milk they see $7 a gal fon more milk. that will ripple through all the commoditie commodities. it impacted consumers and those concerned about the energy security of country because the farm bill promoting alternative energy sources and ways to create a biofuel industry that's robust and creates consumer choice. for those concerned about exports and the jobs connected to those, we lose the potential capacity to promote and market exports without a farm bill. if you're concerned about the ability to provide adequate
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nutrition, and you are a supporter of farmers markets and want to see an expansion of those local and regional food systems, can't do it because they're no farm bill. if you like the idea of fielding to expand habitat opportunities and you like to hunt or fish, your hobby, your vocation, if you will in that area is affected by no farm bill because a lot of conservation programs are not extended or ended. if you're a farm family, you're impacted. across the board in virtually every aspect of the economy and society, there is an impact and an effect by not having a farm bill. >> is this a failure on the part of this administration, on the part of this department that there is not any urgency to this farm bill? >> we have been talking and the president has been talking about in and i've talked about it and farm groups have been talking about it. it gets back to the original point this interview started with. that's that the voice in rural america needs to be amplified. that's why it's important and
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called for he strategic aalliances. we need better connections and partnerships with groups around the country. we need to pick the right fights and become part of the country that embraces diversity of opinion and also diversity of population. i mean, there are many things that rural americas needs to do to amplify the message so it gets heard. >> let me ask quickly about food stamps. both sides of congress want to cut the funding for that. it has grown, as you know, expo terribly, hard economic times and any number of reasons. you have done some about waste, fraud and abuse. are there more places to cut in food stamps? >> 92% of recipients of this program are senior citizens, people with disability and children of working families and people in the work force. it's not understood. 14 cents of every food dollar that's spent at a grocery ends
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up in a farmer's pocket. it's an important program. it's misunderstood. it's another aspect of our word at usda not fully understood. when you understand who you are helping here, then it becomes a little bit more difficult to advocate for significant and massive cuts as some have suggested. >> let me turn you to a subject very much in the news right now. we now have a renewed conversation about gun control because of horrific events in newtown, connecticut. i wonder if you think knowing iowa as well as you do, knowing the midwest as well as you do, dealing with rural america all the time, is it an easy sell to say, we need to ban semi-automatic weapons and we need to ban multiple clips capable of shooting 30, 50, 100 bullets in a very short period of time, and we need to make sure at gun shows there's background checks and in private
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sales there are background checks. will that be -- that's what the administration wants. will that be a tough sell where you come from? >> i don't think the presidencipresidenct sees this as a sale. i think it's a conversation in which the people of united states are all frustrated at the frequency and the severity of these horrific events, and that we should find common ground, some way of reaching that very difficult middle with reasonable policies and strong policies but ones that respect the value systems that we're talking about here. >> do you see this as -- let's use a different word, then. do you think that farmers, that rural america in general is ready to say, yes, let's do these three things? is that going to be tough for them to agree to? >> i believe this is a different circumstance and a different situation, and i think the president believes it as well. this is a sustained conversation. i think over time as people
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think about this as there are conversations not just at the national level but conversations that engage people at a local level. this is not a situation where it's simply a top-down effort. this is really a situation where the president recognizes it's also grassroots up. you know, i'm in politics. i'm in politics because of an act of violence. the mayor of our tone in 1986 was shot and killed by a disgruntled citizen that walked into a city council xham ber and did a hoff hor risk act that turned upside-down of people of 8,000 people. it has an impact and never leaves you. here's how i view this. when the conversation starts, as this conversation started, with a respect for the second amendment and a recognition that there is a value system attached to it that is important and it starts with the recognition that people do hunt and that that's important to them. 38% of america either hunts or fishes. so it's a big part of the
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population. it's a much deeper conversation, and it's a good one to have for this country. it's potentially a unifying conversation. the problem is that these conversations are also couched in the terms of dividing us. this could be a unifying conversation, and lord knows we need to be unified. >> before i thank you for your time, you in for another four years? >> i'm here as long as the president is pleased with my service, at least that's what the certificate says. i've got a great job, and i'm privileged and honored to have it. >> you're happy to keep it? >> if i'm able to, absolutely. >> mr. secretary, thank you so much for your time this morning. >> you bet. >> you can see more of my interview with agriculture secretary tom vilsack on our website, including the answer to this very important question. you're here and you're secretary of agriculture. america grows and puts together a lot of healthy food, but what we want to know is, what's the unhealthiest food that you enjoy? >> oh, my. how manyinutes do we have
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left? >> get to know a little more about the agriculture secretary at cnn dot k.com/sotu. up next, the odds and costs of diving over the cliff with matt bai, jessica yellen and kaern and the "wall street journal's" jared sigh. hter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. start saving at citi.com/pricerewind. [ female announcer ] almost nothing can dampen a baby's mood, when he wakes up dry in pampers. unlike other diapers, pampers has 3 absorbent layers,
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joining me around the table, matt bai, chief political correspondent for "the new york times" magazine, jessica yellen,
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karen and jerrold side, wash bureau chief for the washington journal. jes, you have news to break about what they're working on. >> well, i think sort of state of play update, which is that negotiators were working last night as you expect. my understanding is they're still debating a lot. they're debating actually where the threshold for tax rates and increase would hit. it's stim not worked out at this hour. we know that the deal that is under discussion, according to my sources, would include unemployment insurance, an extension of that, this patch for the alternative minimum tax. it would include some -- there's still up for debate whether the estate tax that's going to jump in the new year, if that would a halt in that jump would be included. of course, the big headline for everybody is exactly where this threshold for the tax rate would
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hit, and that's the big unknown. some folks on k street think if the senate democrats agree to place it between 400 an$400 and a500,000 that a lot of republicans would sign on in the senate. that's what the lobbyists say. they're usually right but not always right. >> i couldn't get anybody to say what they would or would not vote for in the panel we had. it seems to me that they throw in this whole idea of leaving the estate tax alone to try to get republicans to vote for it. so it's something approaching a bipartisan vote. where is this going? >> that's the tradeoff under discussion in the last 24 hours. if the democrats give in on the estate tax, will they get republican votes back on where the tax rate -- raising the tax rates for somebody somewhere. i'm not convinced that's the deal here. both sides have some incentive to not the deal and let it kick forward. harry reid says, look, i have two more democratic senators in
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the new year when we get to the new congress. what's the rush? i'm not sure the incentives are as great. >> that was the old thinking. i know before friday's meeting, but the new new thinking is both reid and mcconnell have a new energy to come to the deal and there's a sense the senate is trying. there's a lot of anxiety about the house. >> we're in the washington per pept wall state on the verge of progress. the dog that's not barking is the debt ceiling, and that's the question of whether we're going to be right back here in february with all these questions on the table because of the expiration of the debt ceiling. >> matt, you've written about the debt ceiling. the president has said i'm not playing politics with the debt ceiling or negotiate over the debt ceiling. he can't hold on that, can he? >> they're back now. what we're talking about now is more or less the kind of thing
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they do every year now, which is to come down to the deadline on this stuff that's expiring and try to redo it. the larger hope here, obviously, after the election was to revisit the grand bargain negotiations. i was mistaken because i thought both the speaker and president wanted to do that. it's become apparent in the last couple weeks the president doesn't want that deal. he doesn't trust speaker boehner can deliver the votes and he feels the election changed his leverage on this. it does not appear the president wants to do this grand bargain. what he wants to do is get tax rates up as he promised to do in the campaign. that's why there's a narrower discussion now. >> we don't have time for some big old deal at this point, right? >> right. >> there's want and political realism. the one other point is they are talking about whether they can put off the spending cuts and whether there's a way to agree to that. >> across the board defense and
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nondiscretionary. >> i agree there's no more trust between speaker boehner and president obama. >> that's the other dog not barking here, is how small expectations are become here. how little deficit reduction will happen here. >> none, right? by the way, aren't taxes going up anyway? >> true. >> what people don't know or what we haven't focused on here, nobody is talking about keeping taxes low on social security. >> right. the payroll tax, the extension of the holiday in effect is not even on the table at this point. >> right. my question is, could this be an ongoing battle where you see a series of skirmishes in the new year over the debt ceiling and over another budget because it's an ideological tug-of-war that will eventually break and they're just fighting for it now, but it's a huge battle of ideas that maybe they have to fight over for a while. >> it is. you're right, jessica. i think the speaker at heart -- it's not about necessarily his caucus to vote.
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he does not believe that raising taxes on people making more than $250,000 is a good economic policy and thinks it's disastrous. the president doesn't believe an austerity program is goord the economy. they're not near each ear on what helps the economy improve. that's at the core of this. >> i totally aagree with you. they completely disagree in principle. this isn't about who can stay speaker and please the left and all that stuff. isn't that a recipe for nothing? >> we're in an interesting situation politically with two parties evenly divided in terms of power but very far apart in terms of ideology. for john boehner or barack obama or mitch mcdonnell or harry reid, they have a big problem and a structural problem in the political system. >> we have to take a break f. you're sick of talking about the fiscal cliff, we're going it to take a break after this. some news for you. we'll debut the new polls with the top contenders for 2016.
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i'll ask you all to offer up some predictions for in new yearle as well.
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we are back wrapping up the fiscal cliff talks. what i'm wondering here, matt, is we hear so often about a cliff. it's a natural disaster, falling off a cliff. you object to this. >> i do. it's important to remember this is not a fiscal cliff. the cliff as you say is something that occurs in nature. you come up on a cliff and if you don't slow down, you plummet to your death. this is a fiscal suicide vest. this is congress rigging the system and saying last year in 2011 it actually was, we can't be trusted to make good, mature decisions about what needs to be done. we're going to booby-trap the system, and if we can't act like adults this date certain, it will explode and be awful. it turns out enthuse kantd make the responsible decisions
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together. no one should mistake for a naturally occurring part of the legislative process. they created this disaster and can't deal with it. when they talk about how they wish he they could be home with their families, people will lose unemployment benefits. >> where do you see this ending? what's your gut instinct now? are we going to get -- because i hear from both sides at this point saying, well, we might be in a better position come january 2nd or 3rd or 4th. >> my gut instinct was we'd get a minimal stick deal at the last minutes. in the last 48 hours i started to doubt it. it might be easier to go off the cliff and get a new term and let the new congress come in and resume the conversations. >> there is some flexibility especially for the republicans after they go over the cliff in that they can do essentially the same talking about now and a tax cut, rather than a tax increase. >> call it something different. >> much more fun to negotiate a
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tax cut than a tax increase. >> if we all process politics like 6 year olds, that will be a tax cut. let's give people just a little more credit. >> exactly. >> i talked to some negotiators or people close to the process that say the press is a lot more optimistic. you might be right. >> real quickly just to humor me. 2016, cnn took a poll and said, hey, how likely are you as republicans to support the following people? they put up a lot of names. what was interesting was that you saw in these polls a lot of serious support saying, yeah, i'd look at rand paul and rick santorum and thenen kind of on the other end, chris christie. paul ryan's numbers are that high because he was the vice presidential pick. you look at this and think, what, other than why are we talking about 2016. but it's because -- >> right. >> because the fiscal cliff. i'm done with that until we get
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some news. >> i think that's a lot of name recognition, don't you? people also, rand paul, for example, very dynamic on television. people recognize him and his energy and his different ideas, so he stands out. but it also is a reflection of the fact that the republican party doesn't -- has an identity crisis. these are people who are moderates and iconic class and very far out on the edges. that doesn't speak to a party that really has a clear leader or a central ideology to speak to. >> and won't until it gets a nominee. the next time we'll know what the republican party is about, maybe, when they get a nominee, right? >> well, you can get the contours of a debate if people really don't have one. remember bill clinton campaigning in the late '80s and early 1990s building a consistent case for the democratic party that was in some ways in worst shape than republicans are now. >> that took two gigantic strokes of luck. one was that mario cuomo did not
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run for the nomination and ross perot did run for the presidency. we'll see them trying to find their way, but, also, circumstances out there that nobody can anticipate at this point. >> right, i do think there was an interesting thing that happened to the democratic party when it was in a similar situation and bill clinton kind of dragged the party to the center a little bit. that was a big debate and we'll see if republicans have a similar debate and names that were just up on the screen were proxies for different sides in that argument about where does the republican party go from here? i think it's more about that. what is the shape of the republican party than it is about any of the individual names. probably too early for that, but not for what they stand for. >> jerry is a little more optimistic about that debate than i am. before you can have a real debate, you have to be willing to anger some people in your own party. what is missing, in both parties on the republican side, the only ingredient is someone willing to take aside that not everyone agrees with. when they are willing to articulate philosophical differences that is risky, you have a debate worth having.
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>> sometimes you need a charismatic leader to come to the front and that answers the question. >> barack obama did it for the democrats. >> he did it, indeed. don't republicans, i'll give you the last word. don't they have to get past a few issues before they can start reshaping themselves and fiscal cliff? >> this is, they're going to have to figure out where they are on taxes and figure out where they are on immigration. i think if you look at those two issues, you're going to figure out what direction the republicans have, if they have decided to take one. >> karen, thank you. jerry, jessica, matt, thanks, you guys, for being here. when we return, the politics of procrastination. this is america. we don't let frequent heartburn come between us and what we love. so if you're one of them people who gets heartburn and then treats day after day...
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for all we don't know about what a final fiscal cliff bill will look like, we do know it will be minimalist and not address the tough stuff, social security, medicare meaningful defense or cuts, et cetera. a time and phrase for this kind of nonaction. >> that is legislation and political kick the can at its worse. >> kick the can down the road when it comes to solving the larger problem. >> kicking the can down the road. >> in psychology someone who kicks the can down the road is a procrastinator or action phobic. in washington it is often accompanied by chronic wishful thinking. >> in politics, there is always a temptation to kick the can
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down the road hoping that long-term problems might simply disappear. >> the political version of kick the can is a bipartisan game with variations for every issue there is a can to be kicked. the budget. >> this is the kick the can down the road budget of the democrats. >> the spending bill that just kicks the can down the road and buys the administration time. >> wars. >> kicking the can down the road and letting future presidents find our way out of iraq. >> entitlements. >> it doesn't kick the can down the road, it kicks the can down the road a decade. >> equality. >> mr. president, the paycheck fair ness act is something we can't afford to kick the can down the road any longer. >> the funnier the more washington talks about playing the game, the more they talk about stopping sglp it is crucial that we tackle the problem now and not continue to kick the can down the road. >> once upon a time when children played outside,